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Published: July 10th 2014
Rugby… I first noticed rugby when I was living in Holland. With a big community of expats and plenty of Irish and British pubs around, you could definitely see quite a few rugby fans, sitting over pints and staring at the screens watching their favourite teams play…Then I experienced the love of rugby on a slightly bigger scale when I moved to Ireland… It wasn’t only a pub game anymore… Rivalry between counties, stadiums full of fans, everyone awaiting Six Nations to start… Even though rugby had its crowd of fans here, it could never beat Gaelic football though… or the British league football (which was always puzzling me a bit I have to say?)… And then I went to the land of Oz… Rugby in Australia seems to be falling into a totally different category it would seem… Different rugby leagues, different rules in the leagues as well, international games and not to mention the State of Origin (which apparently is the event of the year… still not sure what this rivalry between QLD and NSW is all about… and why this competition includes only two states?)… Apart from all this, Australia is also the place where I first had
a chance to experience Rugby 7s…
When we were planning our trip to Australia, Grant mentioned something about us being there just in time for the Rugby 7s… Any live event sounds always interesting, so without giving much thought to it, I said ‘Why not?’, only thinking that ‘a game’ of rugby should be fun… Somehow the 7s part escaped my attention… as it turned out soon after instead of one game, we would be watching 45 games… over 2 days… Hmmm… What did I get myself into?
Thankfully everything happens fast with rugby 7s – the games last only 14 minutes (7 minutes each half), with 7 players on each side a try is scored on average every two-and-a-half minutes! That sounded more like it! As I quickly found out Rugby 7s was quite popular worldwide, as 16 countries were taking part in the Sevens World Series that year. Not only that… It turned out that it’s been going on for quite a long time as well as the game itself originated already in 1883! What can I say? It hasn’t reached Poland yet… Or maybe it has? In any case I haven’t
heard of it before… Apparently its growing popularity granted this sport a spot in the Olympics as well – it’s going to be introduced at 2016 Olympics in Rio. Well, after reading all this I was more than ready for this event.
We were staying in Kingscliff at the time, so rather than driving all the way to the stadium, we decided to use the public transport instead. It turned out to be a little bit tricky as we were crossing time zones in between. I found it really strange the first time we got to Australia seeing two states at the same longitude with two different times zones – QLD choosing not to introduce daylight savings that is… Very weird… Seriously who needs sun at 4.30 in the morning!? Ah well… I’d better get used to it… Still in Tweed Heads it gets a bit more tricky as the state border runs through the middle of this town basically leaving one side of the main street an hour ahead of the other... Slightly confusing… Especially when looking at bus timetables… In the end we got to the stadium just on time… On time to see New
Zealand play their first game that is. What can I say? Gotta support Kiwis. 😊
Even though we got to the stadium in the morning (well 10am is still morning for me at least) there were quite a few people at the stadium already, with more arriving with each moment… One thing seemed to be quite obvious when looking at the people around… Apart from watching the matches people came here to have some fun as well… Many in costumes – some dressed up really creatively but some barely dressed at all… Mostly girls that is… 😉 Grant told me about the dressing up before so we came semi-prepared… No full costumes, but at least some matching straw hats… 😉 And so the matches begun… Really entertaining for sure – fast paced, lots of tries and the crowds cheering for their teams… Surprisingly... not… Poland wasn’t one of the teams on the field… but then at least we weren’t torn between two teams – simple choice: go New Zealand! And in between we were cheering for other teams as well – when we were sitting next to Kenyans, we were cheering for Kenya, when next to Fijians,
Fiji it was then… and above all everybody was cheering for the teams that weren’t doing so well, as if only to give them more courage… Especially that the way the competition was organised, everybody had a chance to fight for the title almost until the end. Even when a team lost one game it didn’t mean they were crossed off straight away, which obviously made the whole experience much more exciting. Add to it singing and dancing crowds, beer flowing all around, yep! lots of happy people at the stadium. Two days flew by in no time at all! We really enjoyed the games, the atmosphere and New Zealand winning the final trophy above all. Or maybe it was the All Black boys performing semi-naked haka after they won the trophy that got people – well let’s be honest… mostly girls of course, a bit more excited? 😉 We had a really good time, so who knows? We might even do it again in 2014! 😊
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